Who the hell is that? I can hear you asking. She is a Sim; she’s my Sim. Don’t judge me! I don’t smoke. I don’t really drink, to speak of. I sim, ok? And I am going to do the Sims 3 Challenge with Mairéad McIntyre.
First, let me explain what The Sims is. It’s a video game (available on computer [PC and Mac], Xbox, and Playstation). It sounds … lame … at first glance. You simply follow your characters through their daily lives; eating, sleeping, working, playing. You design their houses, and earn enough money to improve them. You’re kind of playing God. Generation after generation.
When we got the first version of The Sims, sometime in the late 90s, I thought, well that’s a shite game. Not so much. Our first neighborhood was a group effort. Each of us created our own characters – except Ian. He was young and used the stock characters, Mortimer and Bella Goth. They came with their own house – and money. Everyone could play.
Chris’ character married Bella away from Mortimer while Ian was at school one day causing quite a stir. Ian wanted to kill Chris, and Ian’s character beat up Chris’ character at every possible opportunity. JL’s character, poor thing, lived in a house with no furniture, ate beans, out of the can no less – because he couldn’t afford a stove – and slept on a cot. It was a tragic, albeit comical, story. Well, said character came to my house, several Sim weeks later, and wandered around aimlessly looking at my gourmet kitchen appliances, plush king-size bed, and built-in pool; he promptly had a nervous breakdown. He refused to go home. He wandered around my house crying and peeing on himself. I couldn’t control him, because he was JL’s character and not mine.
Eventually, we had to abandon the neighborhood.
But, we were not deterred. We started a new neighborhood. JL decided not to play. But the memory of his first game is infamous. Chris decided to take on the Goth family—reincarnated with every new game. Chris’ friend B, who spent a lot of time at our house, decided he’d play too. We decided to let Ian build his own house. He insisted he could do this. He built an amazing house with enormous living rooms, playrooms (yes plural), and a pool. He forgot the bathroom and his Sim ended up depressed and shaking his fists at Ian. So, Ian took over the a new stock character Bob. Now that we all had the hang of it … easy-peazy.
Yeah, well, no.
Bob’s wife was a bitch and Ian hated her. And she really was a bitch. Ian would tell her to cook and she’d go and find something else to do. She refused to work, lost 2 jobs and ended up having the repo man come because they couldn’t pay their bills. Ian eventually moved her out, and we created a new woman for Bob to marry. We gave her the surname Bobwife, because, you know, she was supposed to marry Bob. This proved challenging. Ms. Bobwife wasn’t a real fan of Bob. After several game plays, Ian begged us to just make it so they married. In the original game, the only way to have characters move in together was the old fashioned puritan way, they had to get married. Ian went to bed. Chris and I decided to play Ms. Bobwife instead of Bob, to see if we had better results. Well, Ms. Bobwife proposed to Bob and he moved in to her house – becoming Bob Bobwife. Ian was annoyed.
And the Goths are just a troublesome family. They’re rich, eccentric philanderers. As Chris found out. Bella made a habit of dropping by whenever B was playing his household. Well, B’s character was distracted by Bella, while he was cooking, and set the house on fire (which is ironic, because B is now a cook). B’s character went running from the burning building. Bella, did not and was consumed by the fire. So, B killed Chris’ character. Mortimer hunted B’s character…
Yeah. Another abandoned neighborhood. I began playing alone. Me and the neighborhood. I like designing houses. I have followed the game through 3 versions (creatively named The Sims 1, 2, and 3). Each version has several expansion packs.
The challenge requires that you follow a single family through 10 generations, no cheating. And cheating in The Sims is fairly easy. Hold a key combination and type the cheat code. Money is the most common cheat. Each user created character starts with between $16,000 and $20,000. It’s not much to build a house and live off of. Work earns a daily paycheck, but that’s slow – because your character must acquire skills (cooking, gardening, mechanical and logic skills, to name but a few). Your character can either practice the skills in daily living, read books, or take a class. With the exception of cooking, my Sims learn through experience. Cooking requires reading to learn in the early stages, otherwise you burn the house down. Ask B.
So, I’ve created this Sim Mairéad McIntyre. And I am going to do the challenge with her. The challenge requires that she purchase the most expensive empty lot in the game – and never move off of it (all 10 generations). So, poor Mairéad spent over $14,000 on her property and cannot afford to build walls. She has the cheapest available bed in her yard. Oh, and she cannot work, she must make her way by gardening and scavenging.
This is Mairéad’s sad existence.
I currently have 1 other person doing the challenge with me, but if there are any other simmers out there feel free to take up the gauntlet!
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